Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Double Chocolate Pound Cake

Today is National Pound Cake Day. Pound Cake is a dense cake, and I usually make my pound cakes in bundt pans, but a normal loaf pan will work, too. Of course, I prefer chocolate pound cake. This is a chocolate blog, after all. I have lots of recipes for pound cake, but this is an easy favorite. And, I'm all about easy.Y ou can make this is a regular sized loaf pan, but I love bundt pans.

Recipe fits 6 cup bundt pan

6 ounces sweet butter, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp water, room temperature
2 tsp espresso powder
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsifted dark Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk (or buttermilk), room temperature
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Spray bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Cream butter and sugar in bowl of stand mixer on medium-high until light – almost white - in color, 7-8 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl with spatula.
In small bowl, stir together water and espresso powder until smooth. Add eggs into bowl and whisk to blend. With mixer running on medium, add eggs to butter mixture a few Tbsp at time, allowing each addition to completely blend in before adding next.
About halfway through, turn off mixer and scrape down sides of bowl, then continue adding eggs. Scrape down bowl again.
With fine-mesh strainer, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl and whisk to blend. With mixer running on low, add flour mixture and milk or buttermilk alternately, beginning with one-third of flour mixture and half of the buttermilk; repeat, then finish with flour mixture. Scrape down bowl and finish blending batter by hand if necessary.
Fold in chocolate chips.
Put batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until firm to touch and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Transfer to rack to cool completely.
Optional: Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

San Francisco International Chocolate Salon


Chocolate lovers, get ready for a world of premium chocolate!

The Original and Premier Artisan Chocolate Show on the West Coast takes place this Spring at the 9th Annual San Francisco International CHOCOLATE SALON, March 15th, 2015 at  Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. 


Chocolate aficionados, fanatics, lovers and addicts can taste & experience the finest in artisan, gourmet & premium chocolate in one of the world's great culinary metropolitan areas.

55,000 square feet of Chocolate, Wine and Confections 

10:00am-6:00pm | The Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion 

Salon highlights feature chocolate tasting, demonstrations, new product launches and flavor combinations, fair trade & organic offerings, celebrity chef & author talks, wine pairings, Chocolate Art Gallery, games, ongoing interviews by TasteTV's Chocolate Television program, and book signings.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Double Chocolate Banana Cream Pie: Banana Creme Pie Day!

Another day, another food holiday! Today is National Banana Creme Pie Day, and I thought a Double Chocolate Banana Cream Pie would be a great way of celebrating. I'm using creme and cream as synonymous--just as long as there's no pie in the face!

The first recipe is easy and uses natural ingredients, but don't forget to scroll down for an even easier Rachael Ray recipe.

The first recipe uses a chocolate cookie crust, so it's doubly chocolate.


2 cups chocolate cookie wafer crumbs (whirl a bunch of chocolate wafer cookies in the blender)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp melted sweet butter

3/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 Tbsp sweet butter
2 bananas

For crust:
Combine crumbs, sugar and melted butter.
Press into 9-inch pie pan, evenly coating bottom and up sides of pie pan.
Chill at least 10 minutes.

For filling:
Whip heavy cream with vanilla and powdered sugar until thick and creamy. Refrigerate.
Heat oven to 350.
In saucepan, melt 1/2 cup chopped chocolate over low heat.
Remove from heat and whip in 1 cup of whipped topping you previously made and refrigerated.
Beat eggs and add to mixture. Combine.
Pour into pie shell and bake for 30 minutes.
Cool 15 minutes.
Slice bananas (cut in 1/4 inch slices) and layer on pie.
Top with remaining whipped cream.
Sprinkle with remaining chopped chocolate and banana slices.

TIP: To prevent skin forming on filling as it cools, cover with plastic wrap. 

Want to make something even easier?
Rachael Ray has a quick and easy Chocolate Banana Cream Pie.


1 frozen pie shell, pricked several times with tines of a fork
1 package instant chocolate pudding, prepared to package directions
2 ripe bananas, sliced thin on an angle
1 can spray whipped cream
1 dark chocolate candy bar

Pre-heat oven to 425ºF. Bake pie shell 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
Line baked and cooled pie shell with layer of chocolate pudding, about half of prepared amount.
Add layer of bananas.
Top with remaining prepared instant chocolate pudding and remaining bananas.
Cover top with giant swirl of whip cream from spray can, starting at center and working out.
Shave chocolate bar with vegetable peeler and top pie with shavings.
Serve immediately.

Your choice: The first recipe takes a little longer, and you'll be sure of the quality of the ingredients, but the other is as Easy as Pie!

I'm linking to this month's ingredien--Bananas-- at Little Thumbs Up!


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Individual Chocolate Souffles for Chocolate Souffle Day!

There's nothing more delicious than a Chocolate Souffle right out of the oven. I posted my go-to recipe for Chocolate Soufflé for Bastille Day a few years ago. It was adapted from Bon Appetit. It's easy and delicious. But I'm always looking for other souffle recipes. This recipe for the February 28 Chocolate Souffle Day Holiday is from Sunset Magazine. They've been producing the best recipes for years.

Individual Chocolate Soufflés

Prep and Cook Time: 25 minutes.  You can fill the soufflé dishes up to 1 day before baking and chill them (allow up to 5 extra minutes to bake). 
Here's a helpful hint from Sunset: increase or decrease the number of soufflés with this simple formula: For each soufflé, use 1/2 tsp. butter, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 oz. chocolate, 1 tbsp. milk, 1/2 egg yolk, 1 egg white, and a small pinch of both salt and cream of tartar.

1 Tbsp sweet butter, plus more for dishes
6 Tbsp  sugar, plus more for dishes
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use the very best quality)*
6 Tbsp milk
3 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar

The Sunset recipe tops the soufflés with Vanilla Bean Cream, but I use fresh whipped cream or just eat as is. Keeping it easy. :-)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Generously butter six 8-oz. soufflé dishes. Sprinkle butter with sugar to coat. Put dishes on baking sheet and set aside.
2. Bring 1 inch of water to boil in medium frying pan. Put chocolate, milk, and 1 Tbsp butter in small metal bowl. Put bowl in water and take pan off heat. Stir occasionally until chocolate melts. Remove bowl from water, mix in egg yolks, and set aside. (You can melt chocolate in a different way, if you'd like, but this is an interesting technique and controls the heat well.)
3. In large clean bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Sprinkle in 6 Tbsp sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
4. Whisk 1/4 of beaten egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold chocolate mixture into remaining egg whites. Divide mixture evenly among prepared soufflé dishes and bake until set but still soft in center, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately, with whipped cream.
5. Serve with demitasse spoons to savor every bite (Hat Tip to Bobbie Mumm)

Remember, you can fill the soufflée dishes up to 1 day before baking and chill them (allow up to 5 extra minutes to bake). 

Photo: Leo Gong, Sunset Magazine